A Tragic Murder Leaves A College Athlete’s Career in Jeopardy

A Tragic Murder Leaves A College Athlete’s Career in Jeopardy A Tragic Murder Leaves A College Athlete’s Career in Jeopardy

On January 15, Jamea Jonae Harris, 23, was tragically murdered in an incident that was completely insensible. The murder suspects were caught on CCTV cameras nearby the area. Michael Davis, 20, is the one accused of pulling the trigger in the incident. Darius Miles, 21, a member of the University of Alabama men’s basketball team at the time, accompanied Davis in the crime. More specifically, providing the weapon that was used to murder Harris. 

Miles reportedly committed the crime after Harris refused to talk to him while Harris, the mother of a young son, was in Tuscaloosa for the weekend visiting her cousin with her boyfriend. Upon the arrests of Davis and Miles, the University of Alabama swiftly dismissed Miles from the school and the men’s basketball program. Davis was not affiliated with the university.

Then on February 22, the date of the Tuscaloosa law enforcement’s testimony, a new name from the University of Alabama men’s basketball team became involved: phenom freshman Brandon Miller. Police testified that Miller “brought the gun used on the Tuscaloosa strip killing of a woman that led to capital murder charges for his now former teammate Darius Miles and 20-year-old Michael Davis” and went on to say that Mies had “asked” Miller to bring the weapon to the location. Other new information came out, in which Miles’s mother claimed that Miles and Davis, the two charged with the murder, have “been friends since they were young.”

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University of Alabama men’s basketball coach, Nate Oats, released a statement the same day that the new information came out, saying that Miller is “not in any trouble” in regards to the incident. Oats went on to say, “We knew about that. Can’t control everything everybody does outside of practice. Nobody knew that was going to happen. College kids are out, Brandon hasn’t been in any type of trouble nor is he in any type of trouble in this case. Wrong spot at the wrong time.” 

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This statement drew a lot of criticism on social media, with people calling for Miller to be suspended, or even removed from the university as Miles was. However, Oats’s statement coincides with Tuscaloosa chief deputy D.A. Paula Whitley’s when she was asked why Miller was not arrested. Whitley went on to say, “That’s not a question I can answer. There’s nothing we could charge him with.”

This season, Miller continued to play in Alabama’s men’s basketball games until Alabama was eliminated by San Diego Stare in the Sweet 16 last week. Miller was the leading force behind Alabama’s success this year, averaging 19.1 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. In his first game after the bombshell new information, Miller exploded for 41 points in an overtime win against the University of South Carolina, a game in which Miller also hit the game winning shot. 

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Alabama entered the 2023 March Madness tournament as the number one overall seed. In their first round game against number 16 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Miller surprisingly finished the game with 0 points. Alabama won that game, 96-75. Following the game, Coach Oats alluded to Miller being injured as the reason he had a bad performance, stating that Miller was dealing with a "groin issue." In their second round game against number 8 seed Maryland, Miller, still not 100% healthy, was back to his usual play, scoring 19 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.

Stay tuned for more details as they emerge, including the future of the case, and the future of Brandon Miller, who is currently projected to be a top 5 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, despite his involvement in this tragic incident.

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Image Credit: Alabama Athletics

* Originally published on March 27, 2023, by Ashton Grenon

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